28 September: Sofia Ugarte ‘Wageless Friendships and Vulnerable Intimacies among Haitian women in Santiago, Chile’.

Monday 3 October 2022

Sofía Ugarte (University of Cambridge), with a paper entitled ‘Wageless Friendships and Vulnerable Intimacies among Haitian women in Santiago, Chile’.

School of Philosophical, Anthropological and Film Studies is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: CAS seminar – Dr Sofia Ugarte, University of Cambridge

Time: Sep 28, 2022 05:00 PM London

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Meeting ID: 897 4948 6657

Passcode: 692504

This presentation explores how Haitian women make a life as wageless subjects by pushing the boundaries of the domestic sphere as they engage in practices of intimate care, beauty, and friendship and reconfigure racialized and gendered spatial configurations onto the streets of poblaciones (slums) in the city of Santiago. Drawing upon long-term ethnography, I show how, within the violence of racist and sexist moral discourses of domestic and public disobedience, Haitian women realize forms of subsistence that fulfill migrant desires for better livelihoods. In the context of street markets in Santiago, it is Haitian women rather than men who embody the normalized and yet disruptive figure of the wageless Black migrant whose presence in the streets intersects with racialized and gendered discourses of impurity, sexuality, and evil prevalent in Chilean society. Based on the stories of numerous Haitian women who sell different goods as peddlers and informal vendors and their intimate experiences of friendship, care, resilience and play amid racial violence in the streets of Santiago, I show how Haitian women produce spaces of transgression and resistance in which life and work —affective states and informal ventures— are mutually constitutive.



Sofía is a postdoctoral researcher in social anthropology at the University of Cambridge. Her research explores how economic and political imaginaries are constructed in and through intimate subjectivities and gendered-racialized encounters. Central to her work is feminist theories of care and social reproduction and their convergence with anthropological debates about state-formation and economic practices in postcolonial contexts. For her PhD (University of Cambridge, 2020), Sofía conducted fieldwork with Haitian women in the city of Santiago (Chile), looking at how migrant women’s efforts to live and work in a new country reconfigured political and economic institutions underpinned by postcolonial hierarchies and neoliberal power dynamics. She is currently turning her PhD thesis into a book manuscript titled ‘States of Care: Affective Labor and Racism in Migrant Chile.’